NORTH ANDOVER, MA – The top-seeded Merrimack men's tennis team defeated the #5 Adelphi Panthers in the semifinals of the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament on Friday afternoon by the score of 5-2. With the win, Merrimack advances to the tournament finals for the fourth time in five years.
The Warriors will play the winner of the other semifinal game featuring the #2 Bentley Falcons and #3 Southern New Hampshire. Their semifinal match will be played tomorrow at 11 a.m. at Bentley.
The Warriors took the 2-1 lead following the doubles matches on Friday as the no. 2 doubles pairing of Chris Barnhart (Longmeadow, Mass.) and Vince Bellino (Amesbury, Mass.) dominated their opponents by the score of 8-0. The no. 3 doubles duo of Petar Golijanin (Novi Sad, Serbia) and Miguel Belfort (Caracas, Venezuela) gutted out an 8-5 victory to give the Warriors the one point lead heading into singles action.
In singles action, the Warriors picked up the required three victories to move onto the finals. Belfort played well in the no. 1 singles slot as he downed Andreas Hammar by the score of 7-5, 6-1. Barnhart picked up his second win of the afternoon moments later as he defeated Sander Brenner in no. 3 singles action 6-1, 6-2. The deciding win for the Warriors came in three sets as freshman Matt Lipinski (Arlington, Mass.) downed Bryan Kallenberg of Adelphi by the score of 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Merrimack will host the winner of Bentley vs. Southern New Hampshire on Sunday at North Andover High School at 1 p.m. If weather forces the match indoors, the Championship match will be played at Woburn Racquet Club in Woburn, Mass. at 1 p.m.
1- Miguel Belfort (MER) def. Andreas Hammar (ADE) 7-5, 6-1
2- Matt Lipinski (MER) def. Bryan Kallenberg (ADE) 1-6, 6-3, 6-4
3- Chris Barnhart (MER) def. Sander Brenner (ADE) 6-1, 6-2
4- Vince Bellino (MER) vs. Alan Chocron (ADE) 7-6 (9-7) 3-3 (Didn't finish)
5- Petar Golijanin (MER) vs. Boris Tiberkov (ADE) 4-6, 6-3, 1-1 (Didn't finish)
6- Chiwete Njokamna (ADE) def. Chris Toegermann (MER) 6-2, 6-2
1 - Kallenberg/Hammar (ADE) def. Lipinski/Pronesti (MER) 8-6
2 - Barnhart/Bellino (MER) def. Brenner/Tiberkov (ADE) 8-0
3 - Golijanin/Belfort (MER) def. Chocron/Njokamna ADE) 8-5